October 15, 2009,
Dear Friends,
This is just a quick reminder that today is National Don't Nuke the Climate Call-In Day.
Please call both of your Senators' offices with the message: No nuclear power in the Senate climate bill!
Please send us a quick e-mail and let us know you called, especially if you learn anything from your Senators offices on their position on the issue. Send to
You can reach every Senator through the Capitol Switchboard: 202-224-3121. Whether you've never called your Senators' offices before or have called them 100 times already this year, please call today. With your help, our collective voice will be heard.
And if you haven't faxed/e-mailed your Senate office yet this week, please do so now here. And please pass this link on to your friends and co-workers, parents and children; post it on Facebook and Tweet it across the world, so everyone can get their message in:
For those who can engage in longer conversations with your Senate offices, here again are the talking points we sent yesterday:
*Nuclear power already receives a competitive advantage when a price is placed on carbon. If the nuclear industry cannot compete with such an advantage, that's its own problem, taxpayers should not be expected to provide more help to the industry.

*Projected costs for new reactors are stratospheric. In early 2006, the Nuclear Energy Institute predicted costs for the first few new reactors would run $2,000/kw, going down to $1,500/kw over time. Instead, recent estimates include Turkey Point (Florida) at $8,200/kw and Calvert Cliffs-3 (Maryland) and Bell Bend (Pennsylvania) at about $9,000/kw, or $13-15 billion. For example, see:

*Cost overruns have been a constant with the nuclear industry. A 1986 Department of Energy study found the average cost overrun for the first 75 U.S. reactors was 207%. Reactors coming online after 1986 typically experienced even larger overruns. The only two reactors now under construction in the West-Areva reactors in Finland and France-are currently 75% and 20% over-budget, with years to go before construction completion.

*Electricity from new reactors, as expected with such enormous costs, would make the 1980s concept of "rate shock" seem quaint. An August 2009 report from the California Energy Commission, for example, predicts kilowatt/hour costs for nuclear electricity as high as 27-34 cents/kwh-nearly a tripling from today's prevailing rate of less than 12 cents/kwh. This report is available at:

*Nuclear power is not carbon-free. The nuclear fuel chain is responsible for fairly significant carbon emissions--at least three times those of wind power, for example. A recent study by Virginia Tech professor Benjamin Sovacool on this subject is available here:

*Nuclear reactors use enormous amounts of water, and water will become an increasingly precious resource in years to come, especially as we grapple with a warming climate. Allocating water to nuclear reactors now means less water for people and agriculture down the road. An August 2009 Virginia Tech study notes 36 states are projected to experience water shortages during the next decade.

*Nuclear power is not even the only baseload alternative, as some in the industry claim. As cited in the August 6, 2009 Wall Street Journal for example, Spain is building large baseload solar thermal power plants for about $5,200/kw. While expensive, this is still $2,000/kw cheaper than the current low estimates for new reactor construction.

*Congress must not pre-judge the administration's re-evaluation of radioactive waste policy, which has not yet even begun. Specifically, no money should be spent on expensive, dangerous technologies like reprocessing, especially when the future direction of waste policy is unknown.
Thanks for all you do,
Michael Mariotte
Executive Director
Nuclear Information and Resource Service